SICKO – an unjustified and rambling review

Whenever I see Michael Moore these days, I always think of that impersonator on Arrested Development who shames Lucille into enlisting Buster in the Army.

Regardless, on Saturday A. and I went to see Sicko, which was an enjoyable experience. Here are some of my thoughts on it, and by thoughts I don’t mean a dissection of what is true and what is glossed over in Moore’s facts, just my biased, emotional impression as an American with a chronic disease and supposed-full-coverage health insurance. Also, as I am sure Michael Moore fans are just as fanatic as Potter ones:


If I knew how to make it turn purple and blink, I would do it. You have been warned.

The editing was, as usual, great. Moore’s always been entertaining, and clever at snipping bits (although context may get lost on the cutting room floor) and adding silly stuff. The Skeeeery Socialism Government bits were great. A. and I have talked about that concept at length, and it really is interesting (as Moore pointed out) how the American citizen is supposed to be taken in by contradicting rhetoric. It would be socialistic and BluddyKommieseque for the government to enforce heavier standards on cars or food or medication/medical care, but everyone loves a smoothly running postal service. Also, we discussed how the division such conflicting references (and the subsequent confusion for regular people like us, because who decides this? Other than politicians bought by lobbyists) are comparable to the strange dichotomy of the definition of patriotism in this country. Maybe more on that later.

The stitching-up of a wound was a whammy of an opening spot.

The older couple in the beginning broke my heart – especially when their whiny son (though I don’t know if he was really bitching at them – more at the situation?) basically chewed them out for the havoc they had wreaked by moving into their daughter’s house. He did not look particularly healthy, but maybe he won’t make it to their age to experience the same problems?

I was on the Star Wars list! Colitis (ulcerative) Woohoo! You better believe I was watching for it.

The woman who went to Canada and lied about being a citizen made me a little angry. But then, her options are so limited based on insurance that I don’t know what else she could do. I also wonder if she has had difficulty going to Canada since the movie release; the clinics have probably issued an all-points bulletin with movie-stills of her!

American hipsters in Paris: irritating. Oh, well. That segment of the film still made me want to live there, even more so than Canada. What on earth would we of stress-exacerbated diseases do with five weeks of vacation? I shrivel in envy.

I loved the doctor who testified before the Senate about negligence and presumed wrongful death in her position. She was incredible. I wished there was more about her.

It was hard, watching evidence of some of the conditions in this country. Any illness/coverage complaints I have are, for the moment, secondary to that shit. At least I’m still in a position to support myself. That may change some day, but right now I should be out there working against this system.

Cuba stuff – funny, but I have no idea how accurate it all was, or whether or not their trip was legal/illegal. I wonder if Customs took Robin’s inhalers away at the border.

Overall, this should not in any way have been a wake-up call. But it really was. I have a pretty good imagination, and, masochist that I am, I enjoy lying awake at night thinking up scenarios in which I cannot work, I have no insurance, A. breaks up with me because the stress is killing his studying (or alternately A. stays with me because he feels sorry for me), I have to move home, my parents can’t support me, I have to go on welfare/disability, Rush Limbaugh calls me a welfare wench or a liberal loser or whatever his writers call people, I start stalking him, A. leaves me, dogs bark and I die in horrible pain at a bus stop in December in northern Minnesota.

I am now scared all over again, but at least Michael Moore has given me a better visual for my fear.


5 thoughts on “SICKO – an unjustified and rambling review

  1. I’m interested in seeing Sicko. I am also very, very afraid of what will happen to me when I turn 22…the age at which I am no longer eligble to me on my mother’s health insurance. Oh what scary days lie ahead of me in grad school? I hope all continues to go well with you and that insurance doesn’t fail you. It seems, as with most everything, to be a double-edged sword this private health insurance. On one hand, it costs an ass-load of money to have insurance, to purchase medications, to visit doctors (especially for those of us with chronic illnesses). This inevitably prevents many people from the benefits of health insurance. On the other hand, America can better afford the relatively speedy production of competative new drugs and procedures. All of that is due to the revenue poured into the medical industry from health insurance and high drug and procedural costs.But, while those in countries with national health insurance face slow procedural scheduling and possibly the lowest cost (and least effective) drugs and procedures, they also have many benefits. They don’t pay health insurance and high drug/procedural costs. Damn. The conflict is enraging.And hence I hope America will come to its senses and provide its citizens (not illegals, but that’s a whole other can of worms in my mind) with free national health care. Buuuuuuuuut there should also be the option of private health care, in case one is so inclined and endowed with the ideas, preferences, and pockets for it. This would make life dandy, esp., again, for those of us with chronic illnesses. BTW, why the hell does my doctor keep giving me 4-visit maximum referals to specialists like my gastro? Hello, 4 visits isn’t going to do it for me. Life-time illness, people. Give me a lifetime referal to whatever gastro I want to see whenever. Damn insurance regulations…


  2. You don’t have to be a Canadian citizen to get health care in Canada, but you do have to live there. Health care is organized and controlled by the provinces. You have to show a card that proves you live in that province. Did they explain how the woman managed that bit?Somehow, I doubt the clinics were all on alert. Canada’s a big country. :-)


  3. I think that this particular woman lived in Detroit and would drive over to Windsor (though I may be recalling the wrong provinces as he talks about Detroit/Windsor proximity in <>Bowling for Columbine<>) and upon arriving at the clinic, she told them she had moved recently but didn’t have current ID yet. Then she gave the address of a Canadian friend, who also was interviewed in the movie. The cops showed up at some point, I think when she went to another clinic – I suppose a camera crew is difficult to hide! Is that an accurate representation of how clinics work in Canada? Have you, or do you plan on seeing Sicko? I remember one of your earlier stories about signing up for healthcare (and the most recent about therapy), what do you think is the most marked difference between our systems? I’m not an expert on US healthcare, but I have had closer contact with it because of the illness, and my insurance has varied hugely between different jobs.


  4. LadyCrohn,You may be able to get insurance through whichever college you attend, though you may have to work as a TA, GA or student assistant. My boyfriend currently has the same insurance plan as I do, though he works as a lowly GA and I’m a full-time employee (though maybe GA ‘s should qualify for overtime!). Even so, I was pretty scared after graduating, too! So far, I think the insurance will not fail me as long as I am able to go to work. If I am unable to work, well…that’s depressing to think about.I agree with your comments – it IS enraging. The 4 visit-referral thing is interesting, I’ve never heard of it. Currently my plan says I must have a GP before I can have a gastro, but that’s it. Can you speak to your doctor about getting a permanent referral?


  5. PS to Postmodern Sass: Er, that should be <>cities<>, not provinces. Damn. I did find an article talking about this part of the movie < HREF="" REL="nofollow">here<>, which does verify Windsor and Detroit as the cities in question.


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